Category Archives: Uncategorized

Valentine Haiku 2014


I should have posted this several months ago.  Right after Valentine’s Day, as a matter of fact, because that’s when I wrote it.  Oh well, better late than never.

From my previous entry, you might come to the conclusion that Valentine’s Day is not one of my favorite holidays.  And you would be right.  Probably the only thing that makes me look forward to Valentine’s Day is February 15 — the day after, when the stores begin discounting the remaining candy 50% or more.  (And yes, you can give the credit for my feelings toward the day to She Who Does Not Deserved To Be Named.)

This year, I was in both at least a semi-contemplative and semi-creative mood.  I was listening to one of the two songs that passes for a love song for me these days.  (The other is by The Who, and I’ll leave it to you to decide which song that might be.)  As I was listening to this particular Bon Jovi song, my mind began juggling words around, and a haiku quickly took shape.

A day or two after Valentine’s Day, I shared the haiku with a friend who had posted some poetry expressing a similar sentiment on her blog.  She was . . . somewhat surprised, I think.  She never expected to see Bon Jovi as the subject of a haiku.

I had meant to post the haiku not long after sharing it with her.  For whatever reason, though, I haven’t managed to get to it until now.

Keep one thing in mind as you read this.  Valentine’s Day this year was a relatively good one for me.  And without further ado, I present:


Anthem for today
Is “You Give Love A Bad Name”;
Bon Jovi was right.


Copyright © 2014 Johnny Carruthers


Haiku (Or Two) For An Ex


Ah, November.

As I write this, we are in the final days of National Novel Writing Month.  Or as some prefer to call it, NaNoWriMo.  All across the land, untold scores upon scores of people are feverishly hunched over their desktops and laptops, their netbooks and tablets, their typewriters, or even legal pads and spiral notebooks, hoping to produce at the very least the first draft of a novel by 23:59:59 PM on November 30.

And I’ve got nothing.

At least not anything that could become a novel-length narrative.

I did come up with a two-haiku composition not too long ago.  For some unknown reason, I was thinking about my ex-girlfriend — who shall remain nameless, because quite frankly, she doesn’t deserve any additional mention.  But before my mind returned to more pleasant topics, the haiku came to me, and I quickly wrote it down.

I suppose that at least part of my inspiration also came from country chanteuse Taylor Swift.  Therefore, I should extend the appropriate acknowledgements of thanks to Ms. Swift for this:


[Bleep] [bleep] [bleep] [bleep] [bleep],
[Bleep] [bleep] [BLEEP] [bleep] [bleep] [bleep] [bleep],
[Bleep] [bleep] [bleep] [bleep] [bleep].

[Bleep] [bleep] [bleep] [bleep] [bleep]:
Use your imagination —
[Bleep] [bleep] [bleep] [bleep] [BLEEP]!


Copyright ©  2013 Johnny Carruthers

How Many, Dr. Sagan?


As I mentioned in my last entry, something finally clicked when it came to writing haiku when I was in college.  This was one of those haiku I wrote at the time.  It was inspired by the PBS series Cosmos, and especially by its host, the late Dr. Carl Sagan.


Billions and billions,
The stars in our galaxy . . .
According to Carl.

Copyright © 2013 Johnny Carruthers

Twelve By Five


When I was in elementary school, there were a couple of times when we spent a day or two on haiku.  I hated it.  Not so much the poetry form itself, but because my teachers had us all try our hands at writing our own haiku.  At the time, I just couldn’t make anything fit the three lines, 17 syllables, and the 5-7-5 pattern.  And let’s not mention the little fact that I had just as much difficulty coming up with a subject that was suitable for a haiku.  (The aforementioned teachers were insisting that our haiku have something to do with nature.  I think I eventually wrote one about magnets.)

Fast forward about a dozen years.  By then, I was in college, and in one of my courses, we had something to do with haiku at one point.  (I’m not completely certain, but I think it must have been SAT121 — Intro To Interpretation.)  I don’t know what happened, but everything clicked into place this time.  I think it may have been that my professor told the class to write on whatever subject we chose.

This time around, I found myself able to juggle syllables in my head.  It’s something that has stuck with me, and I occasionally find myself committing acts of poetry in the strangest places.

Such is the case in the following haiku submitted for your approval.  I was on my bike, and I was musing on related matters when I realized that I had five-syllable word.  Could I use it in a haiku?  After a few minutes, I learned that the answer was yes.


Platonic solid,
Twelve pentagonal faces,


Copyright © 2013 Johnny Carruthers

The Buffy Bunch


I guess I’ll start with something of mine that actually has been published.  It might have been in a semiprozine, but it has appeared in print.

I originally wrote this during the summer of 1998, between the second and third seasons of Buffy The Vampire Slayer.  It began during one of many discussions on the Usenet group (hereinafter referred to as atbvs).

I don’t remember how this particular discussion thread started, but someone joked about Buffy having to deal — yet again — with a monster/demon/whatever that just wouldn’t stay dead.  And the writer described the scene with Buffy muttering, “Marcia!  Marcia!  Marcia!  It’s always Marcia!” as she staked it yet again.

The perfect response came to me in an instant, and in retrospect, I’m rather surprised that no one beat me to it.  I quickly posted my reply:

“The Buffy Bunch . . . The Buffy Bunch . . . That’s the way they became the Buffy Bunch . . . ”

My post generated a few LOL responses, but there was one other reply that stayed with me:

“And a thousand filkers began scribbling away . . . ”

Okay, the idea was probably already percolating away in the depths of my subconscious.  That reply, though, was enough to start me actively thinking about it — a filk about BTVS called “The Buffy Bunch,” sung to the tune of the theme from The Brady Bunch.

I decided to stick with the basic structure of the theme song (“It’s the story . . . “), and it didn’t take long to write the first verse.  To tell the truth, it almost wrote itself.  A second verse suggested itself almost as quickly.  I was singing the filk to myself as I was writing it, and I think that might have been one of the reasons I wrote it as quickly as I did.

I posted the filk to atbvs before the premiere of season 3.  I do remember that it was fairly well received, but that’s about as much as I remember.

I’ve performed “The Buffy Bunch” during open filk sessions at a number of SF conventions.  It definitely has been well received there.  The first time I ever performed it, the chorus unexpectedly became a singalong, and that has held true with every other time I’ve performed it.

A couple of years later, I encountered the semiprozine Nth Degree at ConJose, the 2002 Worldcon.  Filk lyrics have been a regular feature of the print issues.  As I recall, the first issue I encountered had a filk about pi sung to the tune of “Jenny (867-5309).”  I don’t remember the specific circumstances now, but I ended up submitting “The Buffy Bunch” and a couple of other filks to Nth Degree.

“The Buffy Bunch” appeared in Nth Degree #14 — sadly, the last print issue to date.  (It has since become an online publication called Nth Zine.  It has also appeared on the Nth Degree website, and I present it to you now for your entertainment and amusement.


(Sung to the tune of “The Brady Bunch”)

1.  It’s the story of a girl named Buffy,
Who alone was Chosen as the Slayer girl.
She would wield her wooden stakes with wild abandon,
Yet not mess up her curls.

It’s the story of her Watcher, Rupert,
Who had journeyed to the Hellmouth on his own.
He was waiting for her arrival,
So he was still alone.

Until the one day when the Slayer met the Watcher,
And they knew that it was much more than a hunch,
That this group would be great Slaying vampires.
That’s the way that they became The Buffy Bunch.

The Buffy Bunch!
The Buffy Bunch!
That’s the way they became
The Buffy Bunch!

2.  It’s the story of a guy named Angel,
A vampire living with a Gypsy curse.
When he fell in love with a certain Slayer,
Things went from bad to worse.

Then there’s Xander, Oz, and Cordelia,
And Willow, who assist the Chosen One.
They had no clue what they’d get into,
But thought it might be fun.

On that day they met the Slayer and the Watcher,
They all knew that it was much more than a hunch;
As a group, they’d stand against the Hellmouth,
That’s the way that they became The Buffy Bunch.

The Buffy Bunch!
The Buffy Bunch!
That’s the way they became
The Buffy Bunch!


Copyright © 1999, 2013 Johnny Carruthers

Enter Freely, And Of Your Own Will


Hmmm, I suspect that I’ve probably mangled that quote from Bram Stoker.  Mangled only slightly, but mangled nonetheless.  At the moment, however, there isn’t a copy of Dracula readily at hand, so I have no way of checking the accuracy of my memory.  It’s close enough that it will suffice for my purposes.

Besides, the alternate choice for this entry’s title was Canto 3, Line 9 of The Inferno.  Probably in the original Italian.  Dante Aligheri might find my choice amusing, but of course he has been dead for nearly seven centuries.

In any event, this is my blog, and welcome to it.

My name is Johnny Carruthers.  I am a journalist, in two senses of the word.  First, my BS is in Journalism.  And since I know that any number of questionable zingers are already racing through your twisted little minds at this moment over that last line, feel free to zing away, whether in public or private.

Are we done yet?  Then let us continue.

Second, I am a journalist in the sense of a one-liner I heard from some of my professors in college:  “A journalist is an out-of-work reporter.”  While I have made numerous attempts to do so, for whatever reason, I have never been able to ply my trade as a member of the fourth estate.  Given my opinion of the current state of what is usually called the mainstream media, this might not be such a bad thing.

More than a journalist, though, I am a writer and/or a storyteller.  I think the best way to describe it is the borrow another quote, this time from my friend Paul Gadzikowski.  He describes himself as a cartoonist, then adds, “It’s not how I make a living; it’s what the label on my soul reads.”  Substitute “writer” for “cartoonist,” and the same could be said for me.

I’m a writer.  And I have written a few things (okay, more than a few things) that, for one reason or another, I don’t think are publishable.  At least not commercially publishable.  I’m pretty certain that there’s not much of a market for sonnets, for example.  I would still like to have someone read these various things, and in the words of Pat Benatar, “Hit me with your best shot.”

Hence, this blog.  I’m going to be posting various bits and piece of my writing here, whereupon it will be streaking across the void of cyberspace, slamming into your computers like an ultracharged picoparticle of unobtanium.

What will I be posting?  At the moment, I have no idea.  It will be as my whimsey takes me.  I will say that if I ever decide to participate in the insanity known as NaNoWriMo, the result will more than likely make its way here.  I’m not sure if I’m that crazy, though.  Or if I have an idea that would make it to novel-length.

Feel free to hurl any epithets, insults, brickbats, or other aspersions upon my writing skills you might wish.  Hey, if you don’t particularly like my choice of template, say something.  (I’m pretty sure that it’s going to change.  I haven’t decided whether or not this is the right look.)

The title is probably going to stay.  I like both the pun, and the implied snarkiness.

Copyright © 2013 Johnny Carruthers